2007 Maine Moose Hunts

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Week 1

The Saturday prior to the first week of moose season found me packing my truck with spare tires, rope, chainsaw, moose call, rain gear, etc. for a journey into wildlife management district 4 to aid moose hunters Ron Lovaglio, Frank Kopp, and Roger Hanson in their efforts to fill Ron's moose tag. I headed out at 4 a.m. to find the camp on Caucomgomoc lake that Ron had secured the use of from a friend of his. Once I found the camp, I off loaded my gasoline and miscellaneous gear, then went out to check some moose hot spots I had hunted in the past. I spent the day looking for the sign of rutting bulls. During my adventure I reinforced in my mind that we would fill Ron's tag very quickly. I returned to the camp as evening was approaching and met Ron once again as well as his good friends Frank and Roger. They had dinner in the oven, ands I got my small gear stowed in the camps loft. We enjoyed some conversation, a great meal and headed to bed with plans of heading out early on Sunday to scout an area behind a locked gate, that Ron was able to secure the key to.

Sunday found us eating some breakfast, then getting in my truck to head to the hunting area. We spent some time riding and walking the grown over woods roads, looking for the signs of a big moose. We also set up a target and spent some time verifying that everything was in good working order prior to Monday's opening of moose season. The area we were scouting was one Ron was intimately familiar with as he had begun his career as a forester in this area. We found some moose wallows, and rubs, but I wasn't sold on the area, until a huge 60+" bull stepped into the road in front of the truck and walked right up to within 10 feet of us. Due to some technical challenges with the operation of my video camera, we did not get much footage of this animal, but I know he was very impressive. It was then that I decided we would begin our pursuit for a moose in that area the next morning. We headed back to the camp where another quality meal was waiting.

Morning found us up prior to the suns rising. We brewed some coffee for the drive, and headed out to the hunting grounds. We found the spot where the large bull had been the day before and set up to wait for the first light of morning to arrive. I then began the process of trying to entice this bull into coming back with the mournful wails of a love sick cow. We called for a good 25 minutes, with no apparent response from our bull. I gathered up my gear and with the hunters in tow headed down the road for about 1/2 of a mile. I found a spot that looked conducive to calling a bull. The hunters backed into some brush for concealment, as I did, and we began the process of calling once again.

After about 15 minutes I thought I heard the approach of a moose, so we continued to call. Soon there was no mistaking the sounds of an excited bull moose in the woods out of sight. We could here his excited grunts in response to my cow calling, and his raking of brush in response to my bull grunting. Soon he stepped into sight, swaggering, head swaying and grunting. He was one excited bull. Frank was the first to jump into action as he put a bullet from his rifle right through the lungs, the bull started to run to the woods, when Ron followed with two quick shots and the bull dropped right into the old road bed. About 45 minutes into the opening of the 2007 moose season we had filled Ron's tag with a nice mature bull moose. We took some photos, loaded it onto my truck, and headed out to camp where we had to swap it from my truck to Roger's, and pack it with ice as the temperature was rising. We gathered up all of our gear, and headed home.

Week 2

This moose hunt began way back in June. While Nancy and I were away for her nephew's high school graduation in Ramona, CA, the Maine moose lottery was held. I logged onto Nancy's sisters computer to check the results. I noticed right away that a regular around Mountain View Drifter Lodge, Mike Hurley formerly of Pennsylvania, currently of greater Bangor, ME, had drawn a non-resident moose tag for zone 10. I immediately called his cell phone and left a message telling him of his good fortune. Shortly after drawing his tag, Mike visited
Old Town Archery Shop
to get outfitted to take a moose with a bow. That was our initial plan for this hunt, to take a bull moose with archery equipment.

Fast forward to the Sunday prior to the opening of the October season for moose. Mike and his good friend Steve Young, arrived at the lodge for some good food, and also a good moose hunt. Mike practiced with his bow some more, and I detailed our plan of attack. We went to bed planning on waking early, and heading out in pursuit of moose.

Monday found us waking, eating muffins and drinking coffee while driving to the hunting area. When we were within 1 mile of the place I wanted to hunt we saw a large bull and a cow in the head lights of the truck. The bull immediately ran into the woods to our left and the cow ran down the road in front of the truck. I stopped the truck and dimmed the lights hoping the cow would get out of the road. We had about 45 minutes before it would be legal shooting time. After about 10 minutes the cow wandered in to the woods to our right. By this time we were within 100 yards of a bear blind I had in the area, so I decided we would set up there for our first attempts at calling. Once we were situated in the blind, my mind started to replay the hunt I had 2 weeks prior. During that hunt it took nearly 30 minutes to get the bull to come in once he responded. I also thought the bull had continued to run off further into the woods, so I thought I would cow call gently to maybe stop him, and get it started back to our area. Immediately after my cow call, the bull answered, and came in hard and fast. He came in to with in 10 yards of Mike, and grunted and thrashed brush, all of this in the dark. We were 30 feet or less from a large bull that we could not shoot, because it was still too dark. After awhile the bull wandered off. Once legal shooting time arrived we tried to call the bull back. What we did not know was it never really left, hew was within 50 yards of us standing silently in the brush. We were unable to see it, but we did hear it when it ran off.

We drove down the road and tried calling about 2 miles away. Shortly after calling we heard someone close by shoot a rifle, and then shoot two or three times more. I am not sure if the bull was coming to us when the folks driving down the road saw it, or if they just got lucky, but anyway, that moose was taken by a different hunter. We decided to hunt across country through the woods, in an area I knew held moose. About 11 a.m. we jumped a bull and were able to call it back within 40 yards of us. It just wasn't what we were hunting for on Monday. Our sights were on larger bulls. As luck would have it, that was it for excitement on this day. We hunted hard throughout the day, but could not find a willing moose.

Tuesday found us heading back out to try again. We began calling where we ended the night before. About 30 minutes of calling later, none of us had heard any noise. When we picked up to move a bit, a bull moose ran off. He had come in silently, and stood waiting to see the cow he could hear. We continued to hunt throughout the day. During the afternoon we found an area crawling with bull sign. Although nothing came in to our vision while we called, we definitely heard bulls raking brush, and sparring in the woods. Also, as we approached my truck to head home, the large silhouette of a bull moose stood within 50 yards of my truck, right in the road. On the way home we decided to return to this spot the next day, but instead of arrows, Mike would be carrying my 7mm Remington magnum rifle.

Wednesday we drove with coffee and muffins to our hunting area. We parked the truck a good half mile from where we planned on calling and silently walked to the blind we had picked the day before. We got in position and began calling. After about 35 minutes of nothing I decided to try to do a bit of a swing through the cut to see if I could get a moose. I told Mike and Steve that if I saw a moose I would alert them by using my moose call. Wouldn't you know that within 10 minutes I was standing within 25 yards of a nice bull, that had been bedded in the cut. I worked my way back to Mike, who motioned to me to be quiet. I went to see what was up, when he informed me that a nice big moose had briefly stepped into the road, then turned and went back into the woods. I told Mike that moose would not come back to a call, and his best bet was to move slowly through the cut, jump it, and shoot it. Mike headed off while Steve and I waited wondering what was happening. After about an hour we heard a shot from Mike's direction, followed by a second shot, then a little later a third shot. We gathered my moose tracking gear, and Steve and I headed towards the sounds of the shots. We had only gone a little ways when Mike walked towards us and indicated that he had just killed his moose. We walked down to where his moose lay, and listened to Mike relive the events. I let Mike fill you in on the details if you get to meet him, but suffice it to say, he killed a nice moose. We used the next couple of hours retrieving the moose from he woods, and then drove it to the butcher.

The next couple of days were spent looking for grouse with my dog Trapper, eating and laughing. We had a great moose hunt. Mike has been enjoying moose in many different ways since October, and I am sure Steve is looking forward to getting a chance to relive this hunt when he gets drawn for his Maine moose.

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